Write on trend

Interview with Anjali Kirpalani, Author of Never say Never + producer and anchor at ET Now

Like the protagonist of her novel, Anjali Kirpalani does not consider herself a ‘fashionista’. As much as she loves clothes and shopping, she says she is too laid back a person to have a very fashion forward style. Not one to sport anything that might be considered OTT, she loves wearing comfortable dresses in solid colours. Only recently, she has discovered a love for prints.

Beige and black dotted dress with a cape-like back

Beige and black dotted dress with a cape-like back

“The protagonist of Never Say Never is based on me. And like her, I know if I put in the effort I can look nice. But most days I am too lazy to do that,” she laughs. Anjali is not an impulsive shopper either. “I have been impulsive in the past, but I have learnt my lesson,” she says. She shops about once a month, or when she needs something in particular, usually from stores at Palladium or boutiques in Bandra. Otherwise her sister who is based in America sends her clothes regularly. “Also, I was in NYC last year for the July sale. It was fantastic,” she says.

Purchased in 2012

Purchased in 2012

Not averse to vintage or recycling clothes, having two older sisters the same size as her works to her advantage. “I end up taking a lot of their clothes,” says the author of the ‘chick-lit’ that released to positive reviews this year. Otherwise she says she is a bit lazy about maintaining her wardrobe and just ends up wearing the same clothes often because they are the first things she can reach out to in her closet.

Number of times worn: 1

Number of times worn: 0

However, when it comes to purging she has no choice but to be regular because her wardrobe is replenished often enough by her sisters and she has to make space for the new clothes. The dotted dress that she has decided to give away to Fuffabulous is also a gift from her sister. But since she didn’t end up wearing the dress even once, she decided it was time to let go.

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The dress is perfect for a UK size 8. A belt and chunky necklace can be added to give the dress a more structured look.

Model friend: Priya Pereira Chhabria; Styling: Rachana Nakra and Radhika Dhawan; Accessories: Stylist’s own; Photographs: Anand Wahane; Location: Kala Ghoda, Mumbai

Flea bargains and the law of giving

Shuchi Pandya, Co-founder Pipa + Bella Jewellery

Shuchi Pandya is just the kind of girl we love to feature on Fuffabulous. Not just because she dresses stylish or has co-founded the cool and glam jewellery brand Pipa + Bella, but also because she loves vintage and shopping at flea markets as much as we do. As someone with a bohemian and quirky taste in fashion, she is always on the lookout for that unique, one-of-a-kind purchase. “I like good quality, branded stuff too. But what matters most is a unique style and comfort above all else,” she says.

Pink dress with ruffles, H&M

Light pink dress with ruffles, H&M

Shuchi along with her cousin Komal started the online jewellery store called Pippa + Bella in Mumbai last year, which is also based on a unique social selling concept where interested women are invited to be the brand’s stylists. They are then given training, marketing material and every other kind of support after which they can hold their own events and exhibitions for Pipa + Bella jewellery. Having been raised in a family of established jewellers it was only a matter of time before the cousins took forward the family business in their own way.

Purchased in 2011; Number of times worn: 1

Purchased in 2011; Number of times worn: 1

One of those rare high street buys, Shuchi bought this dress with a ruffled neckline from H&M in NYC in 2011 and wore it out once for brunch. Usually she clears her wardrobe of clothes she doesn’t wear every three months, but wasn’t until now able to give away this dress. Since she shares her wardrobe with her sister, there is always “an influx of clothes”- “It is best I clear my wardrobe of what I don’t wear any more so that all the new things can fit in!” she says.

DSC_4619-1The dress is perfect for a UK size 8 and is easy summer day-wear.

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Styling: Rachana Nakra and Radhika Dhawan; Photographs: Karan Nevatia (karan1981@outlook.com)

The monk who sold her wardrobe

Interview with Arpan Gauchan, associate producer at Future East Films

Arpan Gauchan doesn’t believe in attachments, to material things. Whether it’s the daily yoga and meditation class she goes for that are an influence, or whether it is her nature she isn’t sure. But if anyone were to point out to a thing she owns and ask for it, she wouldn’t hesitate in giving it away. Which is why she also clears her wardrobe regularly every month, with her friends as beneficiaries.

u-and-down emline skirt, forever 21; black layered top wit old detailin, express

Up-and-down hemline geometric pattern skirt, Forever 21; Black layered top wit gold detailing, Express

In keeping with her calm, easy going personality, her style is also comfortable-boho with a touch of hippie. Dressed in long flowing dresses, long skirts, and lose pants all in natural fabrics, with no accessories – she is the kind of person who makes you wonder why you pulled on a pair of skinny jeans when you could be dressed in a breathable cotton Ikat dress.

“The way I dress also has a lot to do with the weather in Mumbai,” she adds. For evenings out, while the basic look remains he same, the quality and labels of the clothes improves and flats are replaced with boots or heels.

number of times worn: skirt - 0; top - 2

Number of times worn: skirt – 0; top – 2

Arpan bought the skirt with the up-and-down hemline while shopping at Forever 21 in New Delhi last year. “Actually my friend suggested I buy this, and I did without thinking or even trying it on,” she says. Later she realised the skirt is “just not her style” and never did end up wearing it. The top was also purchased on a trip to USA and she wore it a couple of times before she lost weight (all that yoga) and couldn’t fit into it any more. “I still love it though.” But it wasn’t difficult for her at all, to give away these clothes to Fuffabulous. Detachment from the material world as they say, does make life easier.

P1100819 (1)The skirt is perfect for a UK size 8-10, while the top fits a UK size 8.

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Photos and styling: Rachana Nakra; Accessories: Stylist’s own

Rocking the cradle, adding to cart

Interview with Meenakshi Nair, food blogger and mom

As a producer at Bloomberg TV until three years ago to now as a full-time mother Meenakshi’s shopping and dressing habits have seen a dramatic change. From haunting the malls buying skinny jeans and summer dresses as a single fashionista about town, to now shopping for Storksak at Hopscotch, she is today as much an expert at maternity wear as she is about high fashion. Meenakshi burns through fashion glossies as quickly as her 2-year-old does with the cupcakes she bakes, and with biting sarcasm and insight can discuss everything from Kim Kardashian’s red carpet choices to Chanel’s legacy.

Pernia's Pop-up Shop skirt with pearl detailing

Pernia’s Pop-up Shop skirt with pearl detailing

“I now have an entirely different wardrobe from two years ago,” she says. Besides the fact that the new wardrobe had to accommodate her post pregnancy curves, as a mom her priority is now to dress for comfort. But the one thing that hasn’t changed is her love for mixing ethnic wear into her look. “I love Anokhi and Cottons and the only time I wear prints is when I purchase clothes from these stores,” she says.

Number of times worn: 0

Purchased in 2012; Number of times worn: 0

Online shopping has been a boon for the busy mom. She loves shopping on Asos, Hopscotch, First Row (till a year ago when it closed down) and Freecultr for basics. “They have an easy to follow size chart and their return policy is also convenient,” she says. Otherwise she likes to surf the brands’ websites before heading to her favourite stores so she knows exactly what she wants and just has to quickly try it on and leave. “One thing I don’t have since motherhood is the luxury of time,” she says.

On one such virtual shopping trip to Pernia’s Pop-up Shop she fell in love with a white pencil skirt with pearl detailing around the waist. “It is a classic silhouette and I thought it would be perfect for my best friend’s pre-wedding brunch,” she says. She ordered it hoping to lose weight in time for the wedding, but the inches remained on her and the skirt stayed in the closet. “It is criminal for the beautiful skirt to just stay in my wardrobe! I hope someone else will be able to enjoy wearing it.”

Pearl detailing around the waist

Pearl detailing around the waist

The cotton skirt fits a size 8 and can be as easily worn to work as a brunch.

PHOTO CREDITS

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Location courtesy: Le 15 Patisserie, Bandra; Styling: Rachana Nakra; Accessories: Stylist’s own; Photographs: Morvarid K.

Shoppinguilt and wardrobe-karma

Interview with Manju Sara Rajan, magazine editor and mom

When is the one time that a brilliant writer, a confident editor and mother of two doubt her choices? When she casts a critical eye over her wardrobe and realises that many of the clothes she bought have not been used more than once. Back from work dressed in a beautiful silver grey tunic and chunky silver necklace, Manju is enjoying time with her kids while we chat sitting in front of her wardrobe. Her closet space is meticulously maintained and not wastefully vast, but “guilt” is a word dropped often. She “feels bad” about not wearing and also not being able to get rid of certain pieces in it.

Morphe by Amit Aggarwal grey dress; Number of times worn: 1

Morphe by Amit Aggarwal grey dress; Number of times worn: 1

Mostly a thoughtful shopper, she does most of her purchasing while travelling overseas. But  certain shopping choices of her own leave her baffled. “I don’t know why I bought this,” she says, picking out a Gucci jacket by the hanger. Some beautiful jackets and dresses were bought on impulse or just because they looked good, but don’t really fit into her style repertoire. Through the years her style has evolved into something that can best be described as ethnic-chic with a western touch, and clothes bought long ago don’t fit into her look any more. Also, pieces bought as occasion-wear can not be used more than a couple of times.

Burberry jacket; Number of times worn: 1

Burberry jacket; Number of times worn: 1

As someone who is not a hoarder, she gives away many of her clothes to friends and colleagues at least twice a year and keeps her wardrobe-karma light. But not surprisingly, it’s sometimes hard to give away certain things of high emotional or monetary value. For Fuffabulous, Manju takes the dry cleaning packaging off her beige Burberry jacket that she has worn only once. The gorgeous Morphe by Amit Aggarwal dress was worn for a party and never saw the front of her closet again. “The jacket is very easy to wear and the dress will look beautiful on someone taller,” she says.

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Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Photos and styling: Rachana Nakra; Accessories: Stylist’s own

Pop, dots, and the secret to purging

Interview with Masoom Minawala, Founder Style Fiesta and Fashion Jobs India

“Have you read The Secret? It says till you don’t make space for the new, you will not get it,” 20-year-old Masoom Minawala tells me, in all sincerity and seriousness. We are not waxing philosophical about the world and our existence, we are clearing her wardrobe of things she hasn’t used. But then that’s the gravity with which many women relate to their life, loves, and wardrobes.

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Brown and black pleated dress, London

It is not a surprise that her book shelf is as packed as her wardrobe. One of the youngest fashion entrepreneurs in the city, Masoom started as a blogger on Style Fiesta. Four months ago she converted the blog into an e-commerce platform and recently also founded a website that works as an online job directory for those looking to work in the fashion industry. Yes, the girl is only 20.

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Neon pink sling bag, H&M, London

And like many her age, she loves pretty clothes and shopping for them. London is a favourite shopping destination, but as much as she buys Masoom also purges her wardrobe on a regular basis. The one thing, however, that she hasn’t been able to give away is the dotted dress she bought from her favourite boutique in Camden, London. “I love the dress, but it doesn’t fit me well,” she says. Every time she decides to give it away, she wonders if she might wear it some day. And back it goes into the wardrobe again. Until now, for Fuffabulous.

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Dress and bag purchased in 2012; Number of times used – 0

The neon pink sling bag was an impulse purchase from H&M in London that just continues to live in her wardrobe with price tags still on. “I just never get around to using it,” she says. She hopes that someone who loves fashion as much as her, enjoys pretty dresses and likes to experiment with pop colours will eventually end up with these.

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PHOTO CREDITS

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Location courtesy: Le 15 Patisserie, Bandra; Styling: Rachana Nakra; Accessories: Stylist’s own; Photographs: Morvarid K.

A closet under construction

Interview with Nishka Lulla, Fashion designer and stylist

Nude lace dress, Zara

Nude lace dress, Zara

As a young fashion designer, stylist and celebrity Nishka Lulla’s wardrobe cycle is like any of ours…. but on drugs. Occasion-wear is used no more than once or twice, clothes and accessories are purchased whenever there is a chance and then discarded ever so often – Nishka’s wardrobe is like under constant renovation. She is young enough to still be in the process of identifying her sense of style, and clothes are something to be played with than get attached to. “I used to like pink and girly styles earlier, but not any more,” she says.

As a stylist she is out scouring stores at least twice a week and so shopping for herself on the side is a temptation hard to resist. The advantage is that sometimes she can fish into her own wardrobe for her styling assignments. The extra clothes and accessories are, therefore, an occupational hazard. Nishka might be an impulsive buyer, but doesn’t  really regret her shopping decisions – when she gets bored or the outfits seem “out-of-style”, she gives them away to her friends or staff members.

Purchased in 2011; Number of times worn: 2

Purchased in 2011; Number of times worn: 2

For Nishka and her friends, there aren’t too many boundaries when it comes to their wardrobes and they swap clothes all the time. “I get bored really fast, so this works well for me,” she says. When I tell her about my project, without much thought, she “knows just the thing to give”. And it is love at first sight, the long nude lace dress she pulls out. She purchased the dress from Zara on a trip to Turkey. “I think it is extremely classy and feminine,” she says. Nishka wore the dress once for an evening out. It would have most likely never seen the light of day again, but for a friend who borrowed the dress before it went back into the darkness of her closet again. And now the gorgeous dress is with us to be fuffabulous!

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The dress is in perfect condition and fits a size 8. It has a beautiful back and because of its neutral colour, is very easy to wear.   

PHOTO CREDITS

Model friend: Kadambari Sadekar; Photos and Styling: Rachana Nakra; Accessories: Stylist’s own